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5 Mistakes You're Making On Etsy & How To Fix Them

So when I first started my Etsy shop, honestly I had no real clue what the heck I was doing. Actually thinking back on it now, wow... I made some silly mistakes, but hey, at least I got started right?

If I had never started by listing that first product to my shop, I wouldn’t have well over 150 sales in my Etsy shop right now.

And I guess that's what this article is all about. It's about pointing out the big mistakes I made when starting my Etsy shop, and then giving my advice on what you can do to either make the adjustments to fix it or flat out avoid them altogether.

Okay so let’s dive on into the first mistake

Mistake 1:

Not having a decent amount of listings when I first opened my Etsy shop

Ahh yes, this one’s a beauty. So when I first opened up my Etsy shop I didn’t realise that Etsy actually prefers new sellers to have at least 10 items ready to list as soon as your "virtual doors" open!


So when I opened up my Etsy shop I only had 1 listing in mind that I wanted to sell. Now, this is a big "no-no" for a few reasons.

One, Etsy actually gives an SEO boost to sellers who have more items in their shop. Which totally makes sense. The more listings you have, the more keywords you can rank for and the more that your listings are likely to appear on the search results.

This totally makes sense right.

The Fix?

Before you even think about signing up for your Etsy shop, I highly recommend having at least 10 product listings ready to go. This includes having your titles, product images and also your product descriptions too.

Now, I want to note here that I don't want you to use this as an excuse to put off opening up your Etsy shop. Heck, if you only have one listing ready then go ahead and open with one listing (like I did) as it’s better to start. But if I could turn back time I would work on at least 10 listings to get me going.

Also, don’t worry about having the perfect title and description as this can always be changed, edited and optimised later on.

Mistake 2:

Copy & pasting everything from an existing Listings to a brand new listing.

Etsy is super cheeky in the way that they make it soooo easy for us to just duplicate any of our listings. It’s great for Etsy, as it’s a way to get sellers to quickly list a new product and thus getting the listing fee, however for sellers, this is a trap. And the reason why it’s not the best practice is that if you're copying the same title, tags, descriptions and just changing out the images, what happens is that you end up competing in search with your own listings.

Dun, dun, DUNNNN.

And I totally get it, you’ve spent so much time and energy researching the best keywords and crafting an optimised listing for SEO so why wouldn’t you want to replicate it again and again. But what happens is that you’ll start generating listings that are competing for the same keywords in search.

The Fix?

Use my handy SEO and Keyword research spreadsheet for every new listing and try and get into the habit of creating a new sheet for every product you decide to list. This tool will help you to generate a title and description by optimising the keywords you want to rank within Etsy search.

Now I’m not saying to forget your old listings. Absolutely not. By all means, use your current listings as a base and then work on changing it up for each new listing. If you need help using this spreadsheet, be sure to check out the short YouTube playlist I created all about Etsy SEO basics.

Mistake 3:

Not optimising my Etsy shop banner

For SOOOOO long, I just had a standard looking banner for my Etsy shop, it was something I quickly whipped up after hearing that it was important to add a branded banner for your website. I didn’t put much thought into the design as I wanted to put something up as quick as I could.

Over time I’ve had a play around with my own Etsy shop banner and the overall branding of my shop, and I feel as though I’ve finally come up with something I like.

But what I’ve recently discovered (that's been a game-changer for my shop) is that I’ve used this banner as valuable "real estate". A way to advertise to new visitors of my shop.

If you have a look at my Etsy shop banner below, you’ll see that instead of just displaying my Etsy shop name and an image, instead, I have added text with a 'call to action' that encourages visitors (and potential customers) to sign up for my email list where they'll receive a special discount for their next purchase.

The fix:

The idea here is to use the banner as a way to advertise whatever you would like your shoppers to do next.

  • Do you want them to sign up for your email list? Then add a CTA to join to receive a special coupon code.

  • Do you want them to view a specific listing? Mention it here in the banner?

  • If you’ve received some amazing feedback on your shop, why not add a screenshot within the banner itself to highlight the review.

If you need help creating your Etsy shop branding, including your banner, then be sure to check out my YouTube video all about how to brand your Etsy shop.

Mistake 4:

Not using all of the listing images spots available

Ah yes, listing images. When I first opened up my Etsy shop with my single listings, you’d think I would have at least added more than 4 images to my listings. Ahhermmmm… well I didn’t. It wasn’t until just recently that I made sure I'm using most if not all the image listing spots available.

When it comes to selling digital items specifically on Etsy, it can sometimes be hard to generate images that show off the product. But after doing a bit of research and learning from other Etsy pro’s, I quickly realised that you don’t always need to have actual images of the product itself. In fact, you can use and optimise listings images for sooooo much more than just showing off the product.

The fix:

If you’re struggling to come up with different ways to show off your product, why not try incorporating fun and informative graphics instead.

So what image can you upload?

Well, you could do something similar to what I’ve done in my shop.

  • You could share images with more helpful information about the product.

  • You could list out what the customer will receive once a purchase has been made.

  • Answer any FAQs.

  • You could add an image with some text that advertises your opt-in page where people can sign-up to your email list.

  • You could also create a graphic with a call to action that encourages shoppers to 'favourite' your listing or shop. (Check out this video to learn more about how to do this for your own Etsy shop)

Mistake 5:

Optimising my Shop for Robots, Not Humans.

In many of my previous videos and articles I mention how important it is to ensure your Etsy shop is optimised with the correct SEO practices, and don’t get me wrong this is super, super important. But what I also noticed is that you can spend hours... upon hours... upon hours crafting the perfect SEO to get shoppers into your Etsy store, but unfortunately you can’t always get them to buy.

You know the old saying...

"you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink."

Well, in the case of our Etsy shop, it's very similar.

Sometimes we spend so much time thinking about ways we can generate more and more traffic to our Etsy shop, that we often forget about our customers? The actual humans deciding whether or not they are going to make a purchase.

When I first opened my Etsy shop, I focused so much on getting traffic to my shop that when they finally arrived on my listing or store, I wasn't doing much to keep them there, let alone buy my stuff.

For example, my product description, the first few sentences included a copy and paste of my title... and let’s just say the titles weren’t anything to write home about. I added minimal information about the product within the descriptions, actually omitting all the helpful and informative information that a customer would likely need before making a purchase (this is especially critical for a a digital item) and don’t even get me started on my images. Eeeeeeekkkk. We all gotta start somewhere right?

Apart from the obvious, what was also missing was my creative touch. My own personality and flair. These are the types of things that humans are interested in, not robots.

The fix:

So what can you do to fix it? Well, I would start by incorporating your own personality and touch into different areas of your listings and shop.

Start by creating a cohesive brand by ensuring that the colour scheme you use throughout your shop and listing all matches. You could add a bit of intrigue nd interest within the copy of your product description.

Let's use an example. Let's say you sell enamel pins that have cheeky quotes or graphics. Could you also incorporate a nit of cheekiness into your product descriptions too? Could you add a bit of cheekiness into the "About Me" section of your shop.

Go ahead and have a look at your current product listings and ask yourself “If I were my dream customer, would this actually draw me into making a purchase?”

Okay so there we have it, 5 mistakes I made in my own Etsy shop and the steps you can do to either avoid these mistakes in your won Esty shop or ways you can change to better improve the overall customer experience.


If you're yet to even start your Etsy shop, then be sure to grab my FREE Start-Up With Etsy Roadmap. It's the 6-step process I use and recommend to anyone wanting to open an Etsy shop... the right way. Click the image below to download it now!




I'm Alicia.

I'm a wife & mama from the beautiful city of Adelaide in South Australia.


A self taught business owner who loves geeking out over all things business & strategies.

I'm here to provide guidance & tools to help you start & launch a successful online business selling digital products.

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